Where are they now: Jessica Watson embarks on new career

FIVE-and-a-half years after she sailed into the record books as the youngest person to circumnavigate the world unassisted, Jessica Watson has taken on a new challenge.

She has embarked on a position as communications manager for deckee.com, an online forum and business directory for the boating community.

And she is relishing the professional challenge.

"Everyone expected me to go on another big sailing adventure but I want to push myself in different ways," she said.

"People say, 'What do you want to do next?' and I say I want a career," she said.

Jessica, who made world headlines when she completed her around-the-world voyage in 2010 aged 16, took on the job after meeting and talking with founder Michael McKiernan.

The 22-year-old is working while finishing her university studies in arts, media and communications in Melbourne, but hopes to complete her last couple of subjects over summer.

She said university had been challenging for a "dyslexic girl who took a few years off school to sail around the world".

Jessica still enjoys sailing, but "it's more of a relaxed exercise" these days.

She has a little dinghy that she sails and friends with boats who are happy to have her jump aboard.

She said she was excited to be working with deckee because it allowed her to keep her toe in the water with sailing while extending herself professionally.

"It brings together the things that I love, working with the marine industry, sailors and boaties.

"It hasn't really been done before and this is a great opportunity to bring the marine world together online.

"I'm really enjoying it. I like that I'm putting my head down and working towards something again."

Jessica still visits the Sunshine Coast "pretty regularly" and is likely to be back in a few weeks.

She is not sure where she will eventually base herself but said the beauty of her online role was that she could do it from anywhere.



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